Following the disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, the New England Patriots’ front office is faced with some tough decisions moving forward. A few of the team’s best players on both sides of the football will become free agents in March and there has been no clear indications of what the team intends to do.
One of those players is the recently acquired cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib was acquired by the Patriots during the regular season via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The addition of Talib has been a huge boost for the Patriots’ defense that was in desperate need of an upgrade in the secondary.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, Talib’s stay in New England may be short-lived with the soon-to-be 27-year-old hitting free agency in March. Talib was asked about his intentions heading into free agency and whether or not he’d like to stay with the team responding with the following via Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com:
“I’m not really worried about all that right now,” he said Monday. “Like you said, the game was 12 hours ago. I’m in the training room with the guys, we’re having fun right now. I’m still a Patriot. Free agency doesn’t start ’til March, so until then I’m still a Patriot and just enjoying my time.”
The biggest priority in terms of free agency come March will be re-signing or deciding to let five-time Pro Bowler Wes Welker sign with another team. Welker has been the main topic of discussion along with Bill Belichick’s future with the team since the loss on Sunday, but Talib’s return will also be crucial with the major concern being on the defensive side of the football.
There has also been talk of veteran safety Ed Reed possibly being in the team’s crosshairs during free agency. If the Ravens ultimately win the Super Bowl, Reed may decide to retire along with Ray Lewis, but if he wants to return for another year or two, the Patriots may show considerable interest.